When NFL-bound former Grizzly defensive end Zack Wagenmann texted current Griz Caleb Kidder and asked him to join the recent grad for a workout recently, Kidder wasn't surprised. It was what happened next that stunned him. “I met him on the field, and we were warming up, and he just started talking to me about how things are, and asked me if I would wear it for him.” “It” is Montana’s famed #37 legacy jersey.
For better or worse, Stephanie Wells is an expert at minimizing expectations. "I absolutely have zero chance," the junior Montana thrower said to her coach two weeks ago in Austin, Texas. Not so. Wells is headed to the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in Eugene, Oregon this week. The NCAA championships begin Wednesday with javelin on the schedule Thursday evening. Read more in the Missoulian about the Grizzlies' first national javelin qualifier since 2005.
Custom-designed coloring books featuring University of Montana’s mascot, Monte, as an athletic trainer were part of the project that recently earned UM athletic training students the top spot in a national contest. The UM team won the “Best Student Effort” category of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Public Relations competition for the eighth consecutive year. Read more about the athletic training students’ latest success.
Twelve University of Montana athletic training students recently took the Board of Certification exam, a high-stakes evaluation that enables students graduating from accredited athletic training programs to enter the work force as certified athletic trainers. All 12 students graduating from the UM program this spring took the exam in April, and all of them passed on their first try. Read more about UM’s athletic training students.
The community support was a savior for Sean Swartz over the past month and a half. For Sean and his wife Jennifer, it felt like time to return the favor. The Clinton family and the University of Montana Foundation on Tuesday announced the Kole Swartz Legacy Scholarship, named in honor of Sean and Jennifer's 19-year-old son and UM student-athlete who lost his life in March. Read more about the new scholarship and its first recipient in the Missoulian.
The Montana women's basketball team received a No. 16 seed and will face No. 1 Notre Dame Friday, March 20, at South Bend, Indiana, in the opening round of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship. The Lady Griz (24-8), tournament champions of the Big Sky Conference, and Fighting Irish (31-2), tournament champions of the ACC, will tip off at 5:30 p.m. (MT) at UND's Purcell Pavilion. The game will be aired regionally on ESPN2. Read more on http://www.gogriz.com.
The Griz and Lady Griz basketball teams both advanced to the semifinals of the men’s and women’s Big Sky Conference tournaments at UM’s Dahlberg Arena. The Lady Griz will face Eastern Washington at 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 13. The Griz will play the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks in the tourney semifinal game at 8 p.m. And Lady Griz Coach Robin Selvig was named Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year on Thursday. Read more basketball news at http://www.gogriz.com.
Benny the Bull, mascot of the Chicago Bulls, was named the top sports mascot in America by Forbes magazine in 2013. Inside the suit is Barry Anderson, who earned the position after embodying Monte at the University of Montana. Check out Benny’s moves in this 2013-14 highlight reel.
Montana is home to 10 National Forests. The University of Montana has a coaching tree worthy of that. Travis DeCuire is its latest branch. "We are Montana," say the maroon banners around campus, and DeCuire qualifies doubly — as the school's first-year men's basketball coach and as a UM graduate, Class of 1994. USA Today reports on UM’s basketball coaching legacy and it’s future under DeCuire.
Although he didn’t know it at the time, Shane “Scooter” Christensen spent most of his life practicing to be a Harlem Globetrotter. As a youngster, he was inseparable from his basketball and when the former Griz point guard graduated in 2002, he relentlessly pursued his dream of playing professionally until one day he caught the eye of a Globetrotters scout. Read Christensen’s inspiring story in the Montanan magazine.
Former Montana Grizzly Zack Wagenmann continued his push toward a career playing football with an appearance at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday. And oh what a showing it was. Wagenmann scored high marks and times in four of the speed and explosion workouts to help offset a tough showing on the strength side on the third day of the Combine. Read more about Wagenmann’s showing in the Missoulian.
When the recruiting trail Montana golf coach Joni Stephens follows takes her south, she is often met with a very specific question: What do we do in the winter? For years Montana's golf coaches were forced to tell prospective golfers they would have to rely on nets, simulators and mirrors to keep their swings grooved when the temperatures dropped - until now. Montana broke ground Monday at the Ranch Club on a new indoor practice facility. Read more about the new space.
As soon as Shanae Gilham hit the floor in Dahlberg Arena, she knew exactly what happened. She had torn her ACL for the third time. Although two years have passed, by the start of the 2014-2015 season, Gilham still wasn't cleared for contact practices. She didn't know if she would play basketball this season, or if she even wanted to play. Now, almost a year in the making, No. 42 is finally back on the court. Read more about Gilham’s return.
Like everything else Bob Stitt does, his recruiting class of 2015 came together quickly and with plenty of excitement on the offensive end. The first-year Montana head coach announced his debut class of recruits Wednesday on national signing day less than two months after his hire as the 36th coach of the Grizzly football program. Montana officially added 21 players, including a pair of transfers. Read more about who the Griz acquired on signing day in the Missoulian.
Very early on the morning of Jan. 31 the upstart Montana softball program released pictures through its Twitter account of its under-construction stadium. Beyond Montana's stadium, however, there is another key element of the program establishment: At 4 p.m. Thursday in Las Cruces, New Mexico, the Griz will play the first Division I softball game in the school's 122-year history. Read more about the newest Grizzly sport in the Missoulian.
The Montana Grizzlies have hired Brian Doyon as the newest head coach of the volleyball team, the athletic department announced Wednesday. Doyon will replace Jerry Wagner, who stepped down in November. Wagner coached the Griz to a 102-147 record over his seven years at the helm. Doyon spent the past six years as an assistant coach at the University of Utah, where he coached blocking. Read more about UM’s newest coach in the Montana Kaimin.
Coach Bob Stitt's offense just got another weapon, this time a proven one at the collegiate level. Wide receiver Ellis Henderson has re-enrolled at UM after withdrawing from classes last fall and leaving the Grizzly football program because of a mysterious stomach illness. Henderson said Thursday he is almost completely healthy once again and plans to participate in full in spring practices in preparation for the fall campaign. Read more about Henderson’s return.
UM’s Derek Crittenden is one of 50 players who was recently named to the 17th annual Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team. A 6-3, 240-pound junior from Whitefish, Crittenden is a chemistry major who maintains a perfect 4.0 GPA. He played in all 14 games for the 9-5 Grizzlies this past season. He is also a 2015 Rhodes Scholar candidate. Read more about Crittenden’s impressive accomplishments.
UM’s Washington-Grizzly Stadium was recently ranked No. 7 among best college football stadiums by Stadium Journey. “The official capacity now stands at 25,217, but crowds in excess of 26,000 are not out of the ordinary, giving the Griz one of the best home field advantages in all of college football,” writes reviewer Jason Karp. View the full list of top 100 stadium experiences here, and read the complete write-up on Washington-Grizzly Stadium here.
New University of Montana head basketball coach Travis DeCuire wears a whistle around his neck during practice, but he doesn’t have to use it. Whether he’s demonstrating how to disrupt a ball screen, explaining the finer points of trapping in the post or taking a jump hook to set off an offensive drill, DeCuire commands his team’s attention. The Missoula Independent reports.
UM’s record-setting defensive standout Zack Wagenmann has been named to the prestigious 2014 AFCA's Football Championship Subdivision Coaches' All-America Team. A 6-3 ½, 255-pound senior defensive end, Wagenmann had a stellar senior season, and finished third in the balloting for the 2014 Buck Buchanan Award, given annually to the defensive player of the year in the FCS. Read more about Wagenmann’s latest honor.
UM Alumna LeAnn Montes was inducted into the Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame in December. She was selected based upon her performance as a star high-school athlete, a four-year member of the Lady Griz basketball team and her current role as head coach of the Stone Child College women's basketball team. Montes graduated from UM with degrees in business administration, management and marketing. Learn more about Montes' accomplishments.
The best job in America. That's what Bob Stitt had to say about the Montana Grizzly football head coaching gig Friday morning when the university introduced the offensive innovator as its 36th head coach. Stitt, a 50-year-old coach who comes to Missoula from the Colorado School of Mines, spoke to media members and fans for an hour at Washington-Grizzly Stadium's Canyon Club. Read more about Stitt’s decision to move north.
Bob Stitt has been selected to serve as UM’s 36th head football coach. Stitt has been the head coach at the Colorado School of Mines the past 15 seasons, where he has compiled an overall record of 108-62 and has a conference mark of 83-44. His 2014 Orediggers team went 10-2 and qualified for the NCAA Division II football playoffs. Read more about UM’s new head football coach.
Education changes lives and those lives change the world. At the University of Montana, we see it daily. Our students come from every conceivable background and embrace challenge, grow as individuals and, ultimately, thrive.
His name is Zack, as in "Sack," and Wagenmann, as in the Big Sky Conference defensive player of the year. Wagenmann, a 6-foot-3, 255-pound senior defensive end out of Missoula Sentinel, led four Montana players named first-team All-Big Sky for football Tuesday. Defensive tackle Tonga Takai also made the first team on defense, as did fellow senior Matt Hermanson at safety. The Grizzlies’ lone first-teamer on offense was running back Jordan Canada. Read more about the Grizzlies' honors here.
He’s climbed these steps many times over the past 28 years, a stretch dating back to 1986 when Washington-Grizzly Stadium opened. But that wasn’t the beginning of Patrick Ryan’s job as the Grizzlies’ official scoreboard operator. That began at Dornblaser Field in 1976. Or maybe it was 1974, he isn’t sure which. Ryan has operated the Grizzlies’ scoreboard for all but one game over the past 38 years and will retire at the end of the season. Read Ryan’s story.
The classic copper, gold and silver colors are making a one-year comeback at the University of Montana. On Friday, Nov. 21, UM released a limited-edition retail line featuring its official school colors of copper, gold and silver. The line, called Montana Tradition, includes clothing and several select non-apparel items. A list of retailers carrying the products is available online at http://www.umt.edu/tradition. Read more about the Montana Tradition line here.
Mark Plakorus, who led Montana soccer to an unbeaten 8-0-2 league record this fall and the program's first outright conference championship since 2000, was named the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year on Nov. 12. The Grizzlies went 12-6-2 this season, and rolled through their league schedule, going 8-0-2 and outscoring their opponents 19-4. Montana posted shutouts in seven of its 10 league matches. Read more about what Plakorus and his Grizzlies accomplished this year.
Will Cherry showed up at the office a little early Sunday for his first day of work on the new job. As he was lifting weights, he heard in a booming baratone, “WILL CHERRY.” It was LeBron James, the best basketball player on the planet. Welcome to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the NBA, Will Cherry. The former Griz point guard has signed a two-year deal, the team announced Sunday. Read more about Cherry’s new job in the Missoulian.
The Washington family, for whom Washington-Grizzly Stadium at UM is named, has once more stepped forward with a major gift to the UM Department of Athletics. The sons of Dennis and Phyllis Washington, Kyle and Kevin, are giving $7 million on behalf of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation to be used for UM’s planned $14 million Washington-Grizzly Champions Center. Read more about the generous donation from the Washington family.
Bigfork’s Makena Morley, perhaps the most decorated prep runner in state history, plans to keep her talents local next year. The high school senior from the Flathead Valley, Montana’s all-class state record holder in cross country and a three-time champion, verbally committed to UM on Oct. 16. Morley will run cross country in the fall for the Grizzlies as well as compete in distance events for the track and field team in the winter and spring. Read more about Morley.
The Montana soccer team’s best start in a generation has been helped by a solid core of newcomers, including true freshmen Hallie Widner, who is the team’s leading scorer, and Allie Lucas. Savannah Witt hasn’t started a game for the Grizzlies and she’s technically a sophomore, but she belongs in that group. It’s hard to imagine UM’s 5-0 start in Big Sky Conference play without her. Read more about Witt’s return to the field after an injury.
The Montana Grizzlies softball team is entirely new. From the bats and balls to the players and coaches, this season will be an exercise in the unfamiliar. It’s been two weeks since the team held its inaugural practice on Sept. 3, and already, a routine has developed. The team is about to make program history. Saturday, Griz softball will play its first game, against Dawson Community College. The Montana Kaimin reports.
Grizzly football will soon be coming to a highway near you thanks to a new partnership with Jim Palmer Trucking of Missoula. The company will transport team equipment for six road games using a prestigious 75th anniversary Peterbilt truck paired with a custom-wrapped Grizzly football trailer. The truck will travel more than 10,300 miles as it travels to games in Wyoming, North Dakota, Utah, Washington and California. Read more about the company’s generous donation.
University of Montana President Royce Engstrom delivered the annual State of the University Address on Aug. 22, 2014, in which he outlined institutional priorities for the coming year and introduced new faculty members and administrators. Watch the address and see other UM videos on UM's YouTube channel.
Student-athletes thrive at UM, students like Derek Crittenden, Griz defensive end and 4.0 chemistry major. Crittenden recently sat down with the UM Foundation for an interview about his time as a Griz and his plans for the chemistry degree he'll earn at the end of the academic year. Read the Q-and-A here.
Over nearly four decades he's watched Montana transform from a basketball school to one crazy about football. He's witnessed the explosion of collegiate women's sports. And he's been courtside and in the press box for more than 30 years. Starting next fall he'll see it all from a brand-new perspective: the bleachers. Dave Guffey, who next month will start his 37th year as Montana's sports information director, decided recently that will retire next June 30. Read more about Guffey’s career at UM.
Fall semester began Aug. 25 with a flurry of activity on campus and all over Missoula. The Peers Connection Network in the Office for Student Success captured some of excitement this week and the many adventures that lie ahead for UM students in this video.
Meet Jordan Sullivan, former Lady Griz standout who graduated from UM this past May. Sullivan closed out her four-year Lady Griz career averaging 11.6 points and a team-high 7.8 rebounds per game, but her accomplishments didn't end on the court. She was named Most Inspirational Player and received the Outstanding Senior Award and the 2014 Athlete in Service Award.
According to a “Smart Rating” developed by FindTheBest, Montana has the best overall colleges in the U.S. FindTheBest used a weighted average of rankings from U.S. News & World Report and Forbes, along with data from the National Center for Education Statistics, to determine each state’s smart rating. Click here to see a map of how FindTheBest ranked each state.
Ground was broken Wednesday on the University of Montana campus for a new athletics academic center, and the occasion doubled as an opportunity for Director of Athletics Kent Haslam to announce a $1 million gift that will go toward additional facility improvements. The building will be constructed and equipped at a cost of $2.5 million, all of which came from private support. Read more about the new facility.
When Jamie Pinkerton accepted the position as head coach of the University of Montana’s new women’s softball team he had no players, no roster and no u0niforms. His team had no bats, no helmets and, in perhaps the most glaring obstacle of all, the Lady Griz didn’t have a playing field. That began to change Thursday when UM sank six silver shovels into the soil, breaking ground on a new softball stadium. Read about UM’s newest sport.
Washington-Grizzly Stadium has the reputation of producing the best fan experience in the Football Championship Subdivision, but reputations are like eggs: fragile, easy to break and very hard to put back together. That’s why fans who attend a Grizzly football game this fall will notice three major upgrades to the stadium, all added to enhance the fan experience. Read more about the upgrades taking place in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
UM received unprecedented private support in fiscal year 2014, with donations totaling $53.7 million. This is a $16.3 million increase over the previous record, set in 2008. In July 2013, the UM Foundation set out to raise an extra $45 million for students over a three-year period. After one year, the “Investing in Student Success” initiative has received $22 million. Read more about how alumni and friends and joining the UM Foundation to invest in student success.
Montana’s student-athletes spent more than 2,190 hours donating their time to community service events and projects during the 2013-14 academic year. How much is 2,194.5 hours, to be exact? If you worked 40 hours per week for an entire year, without a vacation day, sick day or holiday break, you'd put in 2,080 hours. Read more about the great things UM student-athletes are doing.
Only a dozen men ever have experienced the one-sixth gravity of the moon as they walked across the lunar surface and into history. But for patients who find themselves in UM Assistant Professor Ryan Mizner’s low-gravity environment, the goal isn’t to slip the “surly bonds of Earth” and walk amongst the stars. They simply want to walk again. Read about Mizner’s new physical therapy invention.
Great Falls sits right in the heart of Montana. The Missouri River snakes through one of the windiest cities in the United States. The Lewis and Clark Expedition had to portage around the area's five waterfalls in 1805. It was also home to former Montana Grizzly quarterback Dave Dickenson, who was voted as the No. 1 male athlete in the first 50 years of the Big Sky Conference. Read more about Dickenson’s latest honor.
These days she’s known as UM assistant coach Schweyen on campus, but between 1988 and 1992, Shannon Cate scored 2,172 points and pulled in 878 rebounds for the Lady Griz. When her last game was played, she was the No. 1 scorer in conference history. Now the Big Sky Conference has named her the top female athlete in its history. Read more about her amazing career here.
Montana’s record-setting heptathlete Lindsey Hall is headed to Eugene, Ore., where she’ll be among 23 competitors for an NCAA title when her event gets underway June 12. She’s not the favorite – Georgia super freshman Kendell Williams will be awfully tough to beat – but she could be right there when her events wrap up June 13. Hall is, in the smaller universe of the Big Sky Conference, a marvel. Read more about Hall’s collegiate career and her final event.
Travis DeCuire has always had a passion for basketball. That was apparent way back in 1990 when Blaine Taylor visited DeCuire on a recruiting trip to Seattle. Even today, Taylor and DeCuire have differing versions of what occurred that day, but DeCuire’s enthusiasm was unmistakable. That passion led Athletic Director Kent Haslam to introduce UM's new basketball coach with the pronouncement: “We got our guy.” Read more about UM newest basketball coach.
This February, Provost Perry Brown announced UM’s new Brain Initiative. UM already is known for the bench research it conducts through the Montana Neuroscience Institute, a collaboration with St. Patrick Hospital, and the National Institutes of Health-funded Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience. But this new project would consolidate brain research from across the University. Read more about the Brain Initiative in the spring issue of the Montanan, UM’s award-winning magazine.
Brent Ruby is the head researcher at UM’s Department of Work, Performance and Exercise Metabolism. Enthusiastic and wonkish, he is exactly what you want a scientist to be. His lab is stocked with treadmills and high-end bicycles, but also mid-century modern furniture and an iPhone amplifier he made out of a wooden box and what appears to be a gramophone horn. Ruby is either a shameless huckster or the real deal. Read more about Ruby’s work in Headwall magazine.
On June 2, UM hosted its annual Retirees Luncheon, where former UM faculty and staff members come together to socialize and recognize the newest crop of retirees. More than 65 people retired from UM this year, including Annette Rocheleau who served as assistant basketball coach for the Lady Griz for 32 years. During her tenure the Lady Griz won numerous conference championships and played in 20 NCAA tournaments. Annette was instrumental in the growth and popularity of Lady Griz basketball. Read more about this year’s retirees.
Travis DeCuire has been selected to be the UM’s 27th head men's basketball coach, announced UM Director of Athletics Kent Haslam announced May 31. DeCuire, who set and still holds the Grizzly career and single-season assists records during his three-year (1992-94) career at Montana, replaces Wayne Tinkle, who accepted a coaching position at Oregon State last month. Read more about UM’s newest coach at www.gogriz.com.
When Jim Hilleboe traces the steps that led to his success as a businessman in Billings back to their genesis, he finds the four years he spent at UM in the mid-60s. To give back to the school that gave him his business foundation and befitting someone who worked in construction, Hilleboe, 69, has signed a $1.5 million bequest to UM that will be earmarked for facility improvements for Grizzly Athletics. Read more about Hilleboe's generous gift.
Wayne Tinkle won more basketball games as head coach of the Montana Grizzlies than anyone except the man Dahlberg Arena is named after. He won more Big Sky Conference games than any previous Griz coach and took his team to three NCAA tournaments, another superlative. But those are not the things of which Tinkle is most proud in his eight-year tenure as Montana’s head man. Read Missoulian sports editor Bob Meseroll’s interview with Tinkle, who was named Oregon State basketball coach earlier this week.
UM tennis player Maddy Murray was recently named the recipient of the ITA’s Arthur Ashe Jr. Sportsmanship and Leadership Award for the organization’s Mountain Region, a territory that covers eight states. The award is based not only on leadership and sportsmanship, but scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements as well. Murray graduated May 17 with a GPA of 3.9 as a mathematics major in the Davidson Honors College. Read more about Murray’s accomplishments on and off the court.
Montana senior Lindsey Hall won the heptathlon at the Big Sky Conference outdoor track and field championships in Flagstaff, Ariz., on May 15. She held off Montana State’s Carley McCutchen by 10 points to win her second career heptathlon title, her fifth career multi-events championship and her seventh overall Big Sky title. Read more about Hall’s stellar performance at the championships.
With the 31st pick in the fifth round of the National Football League Draft, the Miami Dolphins drafted former Grizzly linebacker Jordan Tripp. And soon after the 2014 National Football League Draft ended, a handful of former Grizzly players signed as free-agents with NFL teams. Brock Coyle signed with the Seattle Seahawks, Danny Kistler signed with the Oakland Raiders, Kjelby Oiland signed with the Houston Texans, and William Poehls signed with the Tennessee Titans. Read more about Tripp and the other NFL-bound Griz.
Students in the University of Montana's Athletic Training Program discuss their experiences and how the curriculum prepares them to practice as Certified Athletic Trainers.
Kris Nord is more than just a Grizzly coach. The man who recently led the men’s tennis team to its first-ever Big Sky Championship is a living legacy who cultivates all that is good in Grizzly sports, athletically and academically. To understand how and why the 2014 Grizzlies broke the door down, it helps to know a thing or two about Nord. Read more in the Missoulian.
Another day, another dominant performance by the Montana Grizzlies women’s tennis team. The Griz (14-7, 9-0 BSC) defeated North Dakota 6-1 at the Peak Racquet Club on April 19, finishing off a perfect 9-0 Big Sky season. Head coach Steve Ascher said he's extremely satisfied with the way his team is finishing off the season. Read more about the team’s banner season.
It was an exhilarating moment and an unforgettable day for Ashley Mackey and the entire Montana Grizzlies women's tennis program. On April 12 against powerhouse Sacramento State, the senior netter faced match point after match point, but managed to come from behind and pull out a dramatic singles win, ending the Hornets' conference winning streak at 112 matches with a 4-3 victory. Read more about the Mackey’s marathon match.
The UM Equestrian Team took seven riders and a coach to Palo Alto, Calif., last weekend to compete in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Zone 8 Finals at Stanford. Competing against top-tier teams, the Grizzlies had as much chance of winning as the local flag football team against the Griz. But oh, what an experience, competing in a multi-million dollar facility on campus against riders on scholarship. Read more about the UM Equestrian Team.
Six Montana sports professionals departed for China March 30 for a three-week sports diplomacy exchange. The trip is part of a grant to UM’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center through the SportsUnited Division of the U.S. Department of State. The Mansfield Center project uses sports as a means to support underserved populations in China, including ethnic minorities and youth with disabilities. Read more about the sports diplomacy exchange.
The Montana lacrosse team won the inaugural Copper Cup on Sunday by beating the University of Great Falls 21-5 in Washington-Grizzly Stadium. On Saturday Montana State beat UGF 19-6 which all but ensured a tournament victory for the Griz after dropping an extremely well-fought game to the Grizzlies 8-7 in overtime on Friday night. Read coverage of the Sunday game here and a recap of the Friday night game here.
Depleted by injuries but determined to extend their season, the Montana Lady Griz dug deep and delivered an historic win on Wednesday night. Behind the heroics of Jordy Sullivan and Kellie Cole and a big lift off the bench, they posted a 90-78 win over Washington State in the first round of the WNIT. Read complete coverage from the Missoulian newspaper here.
It wasn't pretty, but it was just enough, as the host UM Grizzlies edged the Montana State Bobcats 53-50 Monday evening in a crucial Big Sky Conference contest in front of a season-high and boisterous Dahlberg Arena crowd of 4,606. On the other side of the Divide, the Lady Griz scored 44 second-half points on its way to a 72-65 victory over Montana State Monday night in Bozeman. Read coverage of the men’s game here, and a recap of the women’s game here.
Mandy Morales finished her Lady Griz basketball career as the fourth-highest scorer in Big Sky Conference history and second at Montana to the legendary Shannon (Cate) Schweyen. Now she’s trying to pass her knowledge on to a new generation of players. After a year of pro ball in Greece following graduation, he two-time Big Sky MVP now heads the Missoula Sentinel Spartans junior varsity team. Read a Q-and-A with Morales here.
The Montana women's and men's cross country teams both were named USTFCCCA All-Academic, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced this week. It was the fourth time in the past five years both programs have been recognized. The women’s team has a cumulative 3.69 GPA while the men have cumulative GPA of 3.21. Read more about the harriers’ academic success.
In the spring of 2013, Grizzly football players and coaches had their blood drawn to see if they might be eligible to donate bone marrow or blood stem cells. Such donations can save the lives of patients around the world, but the odds of being a match is nearly 1-in-100,000. Despite those odds, this week assistant coach Justin Green becomes the second member of the Griz football program to be matched with a patient in need. Read Green’s story.
Senior Kareem Jamar lead the Grizzlies to a 70-66 Big Sky Conference victory over the host Montana State Bobcats on Monday evening in Worthington Arena in Bozeman while the Lady Griz held off the Cats to post a 84-79 overtime victory in Dahlberg Arena at home. Read a recap of the women’s game here, and the men’s highlights here.
The Big Sky Conference announced the Fall All-Academic teams late last week, and UM is proud to report that 58 Griz student-athletes were selected for the honor, the most from any school in the league. To be eligible, student-athletes needed to play in at least half of their teams' fall competitions and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 at the end of the fall semester. Read more
UM athletes teamed up on Wednesday to help feed the homeless as part of Project Homeless Connect. Nine student athletes packed food bags to help the homeless - and those at risk of becoming homeless - at the Missoula Food Bank. Some 165 bags were prepared, and will be taken to the annual event that links more than 70 services to people in need. Local news station KPAX reports.
The symbolism of the location of UM’s new athletics academic center, for which ground will be broken in early summer, isn’t lost on either Director of Athletics Kent Haslam or Griz soccer coach Mark Plakorus. By the fall of 2015 anyone arriving on campus via Sixth Street will see the new academic center. Read more
Grizzly Athletics is on a winning streak for academic success. The department just posted its 17th straight semester with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better for its student-athletes. Montana rose above a 3.0 after grades from the 2005 fall semester came and have not dipped below that mark since. Read more
Ryan Burke spent most of New Year’s Eve on the couch feeling sore and fatigued. But the Montana Griz wide receiver wants to make one thing perfectly clear about his heroic and exceptionally thoughtful gesture at the end of December: You don’t have to be a college football player to help save a life by donating bone marrow. Read more
The Big Sky Conference is celebrating a golden anniversary this year, and that has the league reminiscing. To honor 50 years of athletics, the Big Sky is recognizing their top moments and athletes. They’ve reached No. 20, and plenty of Montana Grizzlies made the list so far, including Anthony Johnson’s 34 second-half points to help UM beat Weber State in the 2010 conference championship game. Watch more
UM Professor Brent Ruby recently was featured in an episode of "Freaks of Nature" on the Weather Channel. Ruby is director of the Montana Center for Work Physiology and Exercise Metabolism and studies the limits of human endurance in extreme heat. The episode features ultramarathoner Scott Jurek running in the WPEM environmental chamber on campus and in Death Valley while Ruby collects data. Read more
UM linebacker Jordan Tripp has been selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. Mountain Standard Time and the game will be televised live on the NFL Network. The East-West Shrine Game is the longest-running college all-star game in the country. The inaugural game was played in 1925. Read more
Montana head football coach Mick Delaney is among the five Football Championship Subdivision finalists for the 2013 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award. The award honors coaches who best exemplify responsibility, integrity, sportsmanship and excellence both on and off the field. The winner receives $50,000 from Liberty Mutual to donate to his favorite charities and a $20,000 contribution for UM scholarships. Read more
Nothing – cold weather included – is going to stop Griz Football fans for showing up for this weekend's playoff match-up again Coastal Carolina. But the fans who fill the stands will need to take some precautions as they head out to Washington Grizzly Stadium on Saturday afternoon for one of the coldest home games of all time. KPAX reports.
The list of organizations Lady Griz forward Jordan Sullivan has helped assist with volunteer hours is 21 entries long. Sullivan also is a three-time Academic All-Big Sky Conference selection who entered her senior year with a 3.87 GPA as a marketing major. This weekend she’ll be one of 10 student-athletes from around the state to receive the 2013 Montana Athletes Service Award. Read more
The talk is finally over. It’s time to play the annual game between Montana and Montana State. The Cats and Griz will renew their rivalry for the 113th time this Saturday in Bozeman. Brush up on your Brawl of the Wild trivia before the game with author Pat Kearney who wrote the book on the Griz-Cat rivalry. Read more
Longtime UM women’s basketball coach Robin Selvig is one win shy of reaching 800 career wins, a milestone reached by only a handful of college coaches. One of them is legendary Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer, who along with Selvig, interviewed for the Lady Griz job in 1978. Read about how it all began with this story from UM Sports Information. Read more
Six recruits signed national letters of intent Wednesday to join UM’s inaugural women’s softball team. Montana will begin play in the spring of 2015 as part of the Big Sky Conference. Softball will become the ninth women's sport at UM. Wednesday was the first day national letters of intent could be signed. The signing period ends Nov. 19. Read more
After collecting backpacks, new school supplies and cash donations at five recent Griz home sporting events, UM’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee presented the donations to the nonprofit Court Appointed Special Advocates of Missoula. CASA received $650 and 250 packaged school supplies while SAAC picked up more than 900 points in the Conference Cup competition between Big Sky Conference schools. Read more
This June, work will begin to renovate and modernize the Adams Center, including an academic center for student-athletes, a new main entry to the facility – which houses Dahlberg Arena – and a project to add new locker and dressing rooms for athletes and performers. The $2.5 million project is funded entirely with private funds. Read more
Montana senior Maddey Frey was recently named to the Capital One Academic All-District 7 women's soccer team. She is the first Grizzly to earn academic all-district honors since Misty Hall in 1999. Frey, of Kalispell, is a mathematics major and maintains a 3.86 GPA. She also is a three-time Academic All-Big Sky Conference selection. Read more
The trend of outfitting teams in new jerseys, helmets, shoes and even gloves seems to grow with each passing year. Now it’s has trickled down to FCS, where programs like UM are finding ways to keep up with much smaller budgets. Despite its comparatively small budget, Montana has been able to take the field with a different look every single week this season. Read more
University of Montana football coach Mick Delaney recently paid a special visit to 77-year-old Earl Bilbrey, a longtime Griz fan who lives at Bee Hive Homes of Missoula. “It’s one of the happiest events we’ve probably had in three years,” said Bilbrey’s daughter Melanie Pettit. Read more
The Fallen Soldier Memorial at the University of Montana is a solemn reminder of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The memorial, bearing the names of Montana soldiers who lost their lives in the recent wars, will be recognized as the official State Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans’ Memorial on Saturday, Oct. 26. Read more
Relive the most thrilling Grizzly football game in recent history with video highlights from UM's Oct. 19 win over Cal Poly. The Griz rallied late in the game to come from behind and win secure a 21-14 victory in overtime. Grizzly Athletics offers up a five-minute recap of the highs - and lows - of Saturday's contest here.
Under the bright stadium lights last week, Lex Hilliard watched the Jets warm up for their football game. Except instead of the colossal professionals from New York, a different pint-size team of green jerseys surrounded “Coach Lex” – rambunctious 8- and 9-year-olds wearing shorts and mouth guards. The Kalispell native is back home. Read more
Grizzlies athletes Anna Pershouse and Ryan Burke came to class early on Thursday to brush up on their reading assignment for Bonner School. The pressure was on: Each had a second-grade class to read to and engage with about the story of friendship between a farm tractor and an orphaned calf. Read more
"America the Wild" host Casey Anderson brought Brutus the grizzly to UM’s Washington-Grizzly Stadium and let him roam the field to study how bears travel in the dark. Watch the video here.
Junior Tara Green, who played the three-round tournament at 1-under, won the Grizzly Invitational by four shots Tuesday, and Montana claimed the team title at the first-year event by 56 strokes after shooting rounds of 290, 294 and 294. Montana's total of 878 was the best three-round score in program history, surpassing the previous record of 903, set at the 2012 Big Sky Conference championship, by 25 strokes. Read more
On Aug. 31, six U.S. Navy SEALs parachuted into Washington-Grizzly Stadium before the first game of the 2013 season and the first regular-season night game. The SEALs were on hand to support Griz fan and Billings native Bo Reichenbach, a Navy SEAL who lost both his legs while serving in Afghanistan.
Playing at home for the first time since 1997, the Montana women's golf team shot rounds of 290 and 294 Monday at the Missoula Country Club on Monday and held a commanding 34-shot lead at the Grizzly Invitational by the end of the day. Montana's two-round total of 584 was 12 strokes better than any other back-to-back rounds in program history. The six teams will play a final round on Tuesday morning. Read more
Ashley Mackey, a senior on the Montana women's tennis team, spent six weeks this summer living in New York City and working as an intern for the United States Tennis Association as the organization prepared for its most important annual event, the two-week U.S. Open. Mackey worked in Learning and Leadership Development and USTA Serves, which provides scholarships and funds tennis programs in underdeveloped areas of cities. Read more
Joni Stephens, who spent 12 years coaching at Eastern Kentucky University, has been named the new women’s golf coach at the University of Montana. Stephens replaces Emily Milberger, who took the Fresno State job earlier this month after two years coaching the Grizzlies. Stephens will begin her duties at Montana on Sept. 3, six days before the Grizzlies open their 2013-14 season with the Grizzly Invitational at the Missoula Country Club. Read more
Attending a University of Montana football game was the last thing on Bo Reichenbach’s mind last July when he was critically injured by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Afghanistan. More than a year later, the 24-year old Navy SEAL and Billings native continues to recover at Walter Reed Memorial Hospital. While the battle toward recovery has been slow, Reichenbach is winning the fight, and this weekend he’ll attend Montana’s season opener against Appalachian State University on Saturday night. Read more
UM President Royce Engstrom delivered his annual State of the University on Aug. 23 to an audience of faculty, staff, students and community members. Engstrom introduced several new administrators and student leaders, shared a variety of stories about academic distinction and success taking place at UM and outlined some of the milestones the University will work toward during the 2013-14 academic year. Read the text of his speech here.
Jamie Pinkerton, the former head coach at Tulsa and Arkansas and most recently an assistant coach at Iowa State, has been named the first head coach of the nascent Montana softball program. The Grizzlies will play their inaugural season in 2014-15. Pinkerton rose to the top of an applicant pool of nearly 100. He interviewed on campus earlier this month. He'll arrive in Missoula before Labor Day to start laying the program's foundation. Read more
University of Montana President Royce C. Engstrom will outline institutional priorities for the upcoming academic year during his annual State of the University address at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 23. The public and members of the media are invited to the event, which will be held in the Montana Theatre of UM’s Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center. Read more
The Montana women's tennis and volleyball teams recently both earned academic recognition from their respective coaching organizations. Coach Steve Ascher's squad was named an Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-Academic Team. Coach Jerry Wagner's program claimed the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award. In addition to the Grizzlies' team award, Heather Davidson, Maddy Murray and Mackenzie Rozell were named ITA Scholar-Athletes for having a 3.5 GPA or better for the 2012-13 academic year. Read more
Championship football teams are not built in a day, but Montana appears headed the right way. That according to second-year coach Mick Delaney, who watched his troops work through a spirited session Tuesday under brilliant sunshine at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. One thing became apparent as the afternoon wore on: These Grizzlies are sure of themselves on both sides of the football. Read more
Today the NCAA announced the conclusion of its investigation, begun in January 2012, into the University of Montana’s athletics department. The NCAA determined that we failed to monitor our football program, finding instances of playing ineligible student-athletes, provision of extra benefits to some football players, and exceeding coaching limits on a limited basis. As President, I take seriously the responsibility of ensuring that UM offers a dynamic learning environment that is second to none, including strong academics and strong athletics. Read more
The final tally shows that UM student-athletes spent more than 700 hours engaged in community service during the 2012-13 academic year. Those hours were spread out between dozens of causes, from the volleyball team working on a build project for Habitat for Humanity to the men's basketball team showing up at Hellgate Elementary for the school's Fall into Fitness campaign; from the golf team packing boxes at the Montana Food Bank Network to Griz football players spending an afternoon at Big Brothers Big Sisters. Read more
Since September 1997, which was the last time the Montana golf team played in a tournament in Missoula, the rest of the Griz programs have competed at home more than 1,000 times in regular-season and postseason events. That trend will come to an end in early September when the Griz golf program hosts the Montana Invitational at the Missoula Country Club. It will be the first home event for the program since the final Montana Fall Classic was held at the Missoula Country Club 16 years ago. Read more
The nation's most experienced women's basketball coaching staff is breaking up. Annette Rocheleau, who has been with longtime Montana coach Robin Selvig as a player or assistant coach for all but 13 of Selvig's 798 career wins, has announced her decision to retire. Rocheleau won't officially retire until Dec. 31, but over the next six months she will be performing other duties for the program while transitioning out of her hands-on coaching role. Read more
How many grade schoolers would it take to defeat the University of Montana football team? That answer may never be known, but one thing is certain: UM would have been vastly outnumbered during the fourth and final day of the 17th annual Little Grizzly football camp Thursday at the Sentinel High School football fields. Read more
Campus Recreation’s Youth Camps program is underway at UM and the theme of the first week was football. The kids were surprised one morning with a visit from Griz football players who volunteered their time to teach campers about the sport. It was the highlight of the week for many of the children, with one young participate exclaiming, “it was the best day of my life!” as he walked away with a new excitement about the Griz football program. See photos of the football camp and find updates on the Youth Camps Facebook page.
Montana student-athletes finished the spring with a semester GPA of 3.02. That left the athletic department's cumulative GPA, now at 3.08, above 3.0 for the 16th straight semester. Nine of Montana's 12 programs had semester GPAs of 3.15 or better, and the women’s golf team took top honors with a 3.41, which narrowly topped five other programs that came in at 3.3 or better. Read more
Griz football opponents know all about Washington-Grizzly Stadium, and now one national publication does too. The Sports Network has named it the top stadium in the Football Championship Subdivision, praising its atmosphere and Montana’s 174-24 record in the stadium. Read more
The job announcement for Montana’s first softball coach was recently posted on the UM human resources website. Montana won’t begin playing until the spring of 2015. That date may still sound distant, but it will put the initial coach, who is expected to begin in August, under a compressed timeline. Read more
Former University of Montana women's soccer star Courtney (Mathieson) Jenkins and UM's Big Sky Conference champion 1972 men's track team will be inducted into the Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame this fall, UM Athletic Director Kent Haslam announced this week. Read more
When Bryan Ellis graduated from high school, he couldn’t perform division. This summer he’ll receive a doctorate in sociology from Howard University. It’s difficult to appreciate where the former Montana Grizzly basketball player is today without knowing his history. Read more
Today, the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed the resolution of two investigations into the University of Montana’s handling of allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment, and we announced our collaborative agreements moving forward. Read more
The University of Montana's Sam Gratton, Josh Harris, and Peter Nguyen were recently named to the National Football Foundation's Hampshire Honor Society. The NFF recognized 703 seniors from across all divisions of college football for academic achievement. To qualify for the team a player must have completed his eligibility with a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or better, and be a starter or key reserve. Read more
The University of Montana unveiled its new logo and brand identity to employees April 30 in the University Center Theater during an internal event hosted by UM’s Office of Integrated Communications. “This always has been a great University,” said Mario Schulzke, UM’s assistant vice president for marketing. “We just really needed a fresh storytelling platform to be able to communicate to the public all of the amazing things that are happening here on a daily basis.” Read more
The University of Montana basketball fans young and old turned out April 17 to celebrate the teams' Big Sky Conference regular-season and tournament champions during a family-friendly celebration held in Dahlberg Arena. Read more